Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, could become the world’s first trillionaire, according to Oxfam.
CNBC noted that Oxfam is an international network of organizations working in conjunction to alleviate global poverty. According to research conducted by Oxfam, eight billionaires have as much money as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world’s population.
Five of these eight billionaires are part of The Giving Pledge, which is a pledge to donate the majority of their net worth, either during their lifetime or after their death, to philanthropy. These eight include Bill Gates, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, and Michael Bloomberg. Oxfam’s report also finds that the world could well have its first trillionaire within the next 25 years, when Gates would be 86-years-old.
— Charlie Rose Show (@CharlieRoseShow) January 28, 2017
CNBC reported that, according to Oxfam, Gates’ net worth was $50 billion when he left Microsoft in 2006. However, continued the report, his wealth had increased to $75 billion by the year 2016, despite his commendable attempts to give his money away through his foundation. Gates does much charitable work through his personal foundation, in addition to being a founding member of The Giving Pledge, which is a commitment made by some of the richest people in the world to give away more than half of their worth. Oxfam’s analysis determined that the now 61-year-old could well become the world’s first trillionaire.
“In such an environment, if you are already rich, you have to try hard not to keep getting a lot richer.”
Bill Gates notably dropped out of Harvard University in 1975 to found Microsoft, thus becoming the world’s richest man. He’s often called Harvard’s most famous dropout, and according to Fortune magazine, Gates said he was simply lucky that computers were an obsession and hobby of his at a time when they were just beginning to change the world.
— Deniz Taskin (@DenizTaskin) January 15, 2017
However, when Gates and fellow billionaire and close friend Warren Buffett were speaking on Friday at Columbia University to a crowd of more than 1,000 students, he said that if he were to drop out of college today there’s little chance he would end up in the computer industry, and probably wouldn’t be developing operating software for companies.
Gates co-founded Microsoft and was the first chief executive of Microsoft Corp., while Buffett runs the conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc. According to Forbes magazine, Gates is worth $85.2 billion, while Buffett is worth $73.9 billion.
Obviously, the 61-year-old wasn’t speaking at Columbia to advocate dropping out of school because Gates has always believed in the investment of education, saying that it’s the number one priority of his foundation in the United States. In response to a student’s question, Gates named three areas he thought were very promising, areas where he might pursue a career if he were starting out today. These areas were artificial intelligence, the energy sector, and biotech.
Regarding artificial intelligence, the billionaire said that this is the area he believes has the most potential in the computer sciences arena. The research being done in the field of artificial intelligence is profound and on the verge of making new breakthroughs.
“The ability for artificial agents to read and understand material is going to be phenomenal. Anything connected with that would be an exciting lifetime career.”
— Bill Gates Fans (@BillG_Fans) January 30, 2017
Regarding the energy sector, Gates said there is a huge demand for energy that’s cheap, reliable, and clean, but as yet there’s no system able to provide enough energy that meets those criteria.
“The innovations [in energy] will be profound. And there are many paths to get to where we need to go.”
And with biotech, Gates said that developments in the biosciences are moving faster than ever, and that it’s a thrilling time in biology. He believes there’s both a potential and a need for smart innovation in the fights against cancer, obesity, and depression. He also believes that one of the most promising advances is DNA vaccines.
When asked about Donald Trump, Bill Gates said that he was optimistic that, under the new President, the United States’ policy and spending on vaccines would not change.
“I don’t think Trump will change the U.S. policy stance on vaccines. There may be a commission but the evidence [for the use of vaccines] is unequivocal.”
[Featured Image by Axel Schmidt/Getty Images]